Last post on Nov 23, 2013 at 6:38 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Toyota, Sedan
#590 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [lucien4]
Jul 14, 2013 (8:39 pm)
As long as you're at the Toyota Dealer, could you test drive the Avalon hybrid and the Camry hybrid back to back? Make sure you drive them both over some bumpy roads with lots of surface imperfections and let us know which one you think has the best road isolation. FWIW Consumer Reports rates the Camry as having a better ride. The overall scores for the Camry hybrid was 93 and the Avalon Limited hybrid was 86. The 2013 Honda Accord's score was 90.
#591 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [havec]
Jul 15, 2013 (9:34 am)
I don't take CR score literally (e.g. Tesla got 99 points even though they listed several issues). But overall their written assessment is typically fairly close what I'd experience. But you can't score a car really for everyone since priorities differ on individual preferences.
I had the Camry non-hybrid as a rental car for 2 weeks. It absorbs bumps more cushioned but still more body lean than I like and not enough feedback. Hybrid might be different but probably not much. This is what CR says:
"The ride is subdued, and the suspension feels more tied down and better controlled than previous Camrys. Bumps are soaked up well with impressive isolation."
I'd prefer the Avalon suspension but personal preference. Except I don't want to feel small vibrations so will do test drive this week with Avalon hybrid to see how it compares.
I'm not considering the Camry since the cost cutting is too evident to me. The Avalon has much better interior quality and more interesting exterior design. CR probably rated it also higher since it's better value (with slightly higher FE and better acceleration).
#592 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [lucien4]
Jul 15, 2013 (5:00 pm)
I agree with what you say about CR's ratings. I've been a long time reader and believe that they are the one only true unbiased source for product information as they buy everything they test off the shelf and have SOPs in place for product testing. However, Iím a little pissed off at them for 2 reasons. First, when I asked them if they were going to be test driving an Avlalon hybrid they emailed me back and said that they were not planning on testing the car any time soon. Right when I was signing the deal on my TAH the "first drive" came out saying that they were alarmed by the bumps being transmitted into the cabin by the V6 18 inch wheel Limited model. I bought the car anyway mostly because of how much I liked how it drove, the interior and all the technology. Later, after reading their full test in which they said that most $25K sedans ride better I became hyper sensitized to the ride quality. So I'm mad at them for making me so aware of every bump and crevice in the road and lying to me.
However, going forward I don't think there are too many alternatives that can beat this car outside of maybe the Lexus hybrid version. I did drive a Camry hybrid several months before purchasing the TAH Limited and I wasnít overly impressed at the time with the overall feel of the vehicle. It just seemed run of the mill not like the Avalon hybrid which allowed for rationalizing a whole bunch of extras not offered on the Camry. Also, if youíre going pay serious money for a new vehicle you have to keep it for at least 10 years and that means that it has to be future proof. Which means that it better get at least 30 mpg combined under worst case driving. I was driving an older Lexus RX300 which got 17 mpg. Now Iím averaging 33.9 (3180 miles/93.9 gallons). I would have bought a Lexus 450H SUV but the gas mileage wasnít there and I was tired of driving a SUV plus probably another 10K fully equipped. On smooth roads the TAH hybrid excels and you canít beat the technology packages especially the adaptive cruise control. And, the car is fun to drive, something I donít think you can say about then Camry.
Iím hoping that the TAHís road isolation will improve some when I replace the Bridgstones with Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires. Maybe, that is something you can insist on if and when you buy your TAH. Good luck with your test drive and let us know what you think.
#593 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [havec]
Jul 16, 2013 (6:52 am)
I'll try to do test drive tomorrow (hopefully they have one now in stock).
Think about this on CR assessment: they said FR-S is somewhat stiff but not too punishing by sports car standards. Well I test drove one and I think that's an understatement (unless it was an issue with the demo). They expect each category of cars to have certain suspension setup and they classify Avalon as a "large plush sedan". Yet it's same size as Honda Accord and it's quite a different vehicle now. But I agree the V6 doesn't absorb bumps as good as Accord or MKZ. But with hybrid 17" should be better and as you say other tires should help.
There's no perfect car as they find issues in all cars and the hybrid model still got 86 points. The poor perf of IIHS small overlap for several Toyota models so far would concern me more than suspension. But then again only few cars so far had good ratings and ES/Avalon '13 hasn't been tested yet with this new test.
#594 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [lucien4]
Jul 16, 2013 (11:54 am)
The last Avalon they tested got a 1/2 dark circle poor rating in the emergency handling rating. Toyota fixes the handling discrepancy in the 2013 model and gets dinged on the ride. Toyota probably isn't too thrilled with CR. At least CR said that the car instills driver's confidence. Have you read the user reviews on CR's website? Everybody likes the hybrid a lot better than the V6.
#595 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [havec]
Jul 17, 2013 (2:58 am)
I agree with what you are saying. I bought my Avalon the day before that CR article came out. GRRRRR.... If I had read the article before I bought my car, I probably would have waited and test driven more models of more cars before signing on the dotted line. However, that being said, I really do like the look inside and out of the new Avalon. I love the handling, it is very much improved. The only thing that I find annoying, is the ride quality. If the roads are smooth, the car rides like a dream. If not, you feel every bump. It's true.
I really like the car just a little miffed about the ride and can't wait to replace those tires. The two features I really like the blind spot monitor and the cross traffic alert. I think those features are the best additions to the car and I hope Toyota decides to make those two safety features standard on all models eventually.
#596 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [teresa01]
Jul 17, 2013 (3:54 am)
I feel your pain. Fortunatly I read the customer reviews before I bought my Avalon and made sure my car did not have Bridgestones. I am leaning towards going to a "55 aspect tire when the original Michelins wear out. Miles tend to sofen the ride so I may change my thinking on this. I would suggest you drop your tire pressure to 31psi(cold) in the meantime as it does help ride harshness. Frankly I drove a assortment of other vehicles and kept comming back to the Avalon and finally made the purchase. Can not see how I would act any differently now I have driven it for 3400 miles even though I do have a seriuos intermitent drivability problem. Not making any progress in getting the problem resolved because a few miles of driving by the dealer could not replicate the problem and Toyota will not do anything until they do. Kept my car three days and put over 50 miles on it and burned a quarter tank of gas and suggested my driving style probably was the problem. Bummer!
#597 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [teresa01]
Jul 17, 2013 (11:21 am)
The Camry has better road isolation but how many people would trade in their Avalon on a Camry? I agree the technology is what makes this car over other Toyotas. Although, the PCS beeps at me sometimes when I'm lightly braking and coming up to another car. The adaptive cruise is also pretty nice on the freeway. Someone said you get bit of an insurance break on all the safety related features.
#598 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [teresa01]
Jul 17, 2013 (1:32 pm)
Had a chance today to do a test drive with the Hybrid model and I think it absorbed the bumps better with the 17" tires and I didn't feel small vibrations through steering wheel this time. However the roads were not exactly same but weren't that great either. For me ride seems acceptable but if I have a chance probably take a 2nd test drive on same roads (waiting for them to get hybrid model in stock).
Also checked again driving fast through curves and it doesn't lean much but passenger seat isn't quite holding you so you slide little bit (driver seat was ok). But overall it was alright even though not quite as good as some other cars.
Fuel consumption was pretty good for quick test drive. Got about 40 mpg in mixed driving. Didn't quite get 43 mpg on highway that CR got (at 65 mph) but mpg should get little better over time and drive was bit short to accurately measure it.
#599 of 716 Re: CR TAH Review and Owners Reviews [lucien4]
Jul 17, 2013 (8:07 pm)
Yes, 55 series tires have more air between you and the road than 45 series. It sure would be nice if you could confirm the ride difference between the 17 inch Bridgestone EL Turanza and 17 inch Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires. Although it would unlikely that there would be 2 hybrids on the lot with the 2 different sets of tires. Also, make sure you bring a tire gauge with you. It seems that Avalons might be coming off the transport truck with 36 psi in the tires. Something about the factory pumping up the tires to prevent flat spots. 33 is the sticker pressure and 31 gives a better ride as pointed out above.